The Best Hour of My Day

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Posted by Katie

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There’s singing! (YAY!) There’s dancing! (YAY!) There’s nudity! (Um…?) There’s prayer!


Yes, indeed folks. Introducing the Pickard Family nighttime routine: the best hour of my day. As I mentioned last week, I live in a multi-generational home. Time spent with my husband and my kids…just the four of us…is precious, precious, precious. And during the week, because both my husband and I work full-time jobs with hour-long commutes, those times are brief, brief, brief.

Enter the bedtime-turned-quality-time routine. I miss my kids like mad every day. People often tell me “it is about quality, not quantity”. My heart is not completely convinced of this. I think you can reach a minimum point at which the time is just not enough time. I get an hour with my kids each day. For me, this is less than ideal.

And so I fight. Someday I intend to win back more time. But for now, this is what I cram into my precious hour:

  • Both my kids (3 ½-year-old and 1 ½-year-old) feed our dog. (Lessons in family participation, ownership, responsibility) (Yes, they really do this together and without my assistance. They are amazing little shorties.)
  • Together, Phillip and I bathe our kids, help them into their pjs, and brush their hair and teeth and complete the bedtime routine. (Lessons in watching mom and dad work together as a team)
  • Dance Party. We enjoy a nightly soundtrack thanks to my I-Phone and Pandora. Think Doo Wop. You know I love it. (Lessons in music appreciation, dance, self-expression and silliness.)
  • Time Out. Inevitably somebody (usually a shorty) gets off-track and needs re-setting. (Lessons in discipline, respect, and forgiveness)
  • Time Out. Inevitably a taller somebody gets tired of enduring an off-track shorty. Taller folks need re-setting too. (Lessons in discipline, respect, and forgiveness)
  • HUGS. This is a whole event. After bath and before stories we venture downstairs for a round of goodnight hugs to the rest of the family. (Lessons in love, family, and belonging.)
  • Stories. Lots of them. Sometimes read, sometimes imagined on the spot. (Lessons in love-of- learning, literature, imagination, humor, and adventure.)
  • Singing. Every night. Really. What started out as lullabies, have grown into sing-a-longs. My oldest kid knows several verses of Amazing Grace, Be Thou My Vision, Old McDonald, and Itsy Bitsy Spider, among other classics. (Lessons in music appreciation, theology (Noah often asks about the words he sings), church history, faith, memorization, worship, fun)
  • Prayer. Every night. As a family. Really. We each take turns talking to Jesus about whatever we want to. (Lessons in relationship-building with Jesus, faith, trust, care of others, unity as a family, confession, hope, promise, gratitude, healing.)
  • The whole routine! (Lessons in consistency and commitment to one another).

It is only an hour, but Phillip and I try to give it everything we’ve got. It is more than an appointment with family. It is high-intensity parenting and partnership. It is the best hour of our day. (Lessons in making the most out of less-than-ideal situations).

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